Blumenthal describes scene with refugees on Ukraine-Poland border as ‘deeply sober’

US Senator Richard Blumenthal and fellow congressional leaders traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border on Sunday to see firsthand the evolving humanitarian crisis, just hours after Russian airstrikes hit a town neighboring Ukrainian at night.

Officials visited soup kitchens and temporary detention centers for the millions of Ukrainian refugees expected to cross the border. Most of them are women and children, Blumenthal said.

“We were at the border crossing, seeing women and children fleeing from these bombs…literally waking up this morning to missiles hitting their house and the camp,” Blumenthal said. “The terror and tragedy of this wanton destruction were on their faces, in their tears and their voices.”

He described the atmosphere on the ground and among U.S. officials as “really, deeply sober.”

Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, was joined by fellow Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Roger Wicker of Mississippi as they met with Ukrainian refugees affected by the crisis and visiting refugee sites. along the border.

The group will return to the United States on Monday after speaking with a number of Polish defense officials in Warsaw, Blumenthal said.

“I was deeply impressed by the determination and resilience of the Ukrainian people despite Russia’s savage and insidious invasion and war crimes,” Blumenthal said, adding that he was also impressed “by the courage and competence of our American troops who help to supply the Ukrainians and reinforce the defense of NATO.

The United Nations is investigating allegations of war crimes, reports the Associated Press.

Early on Sunday, Russian warplanes launched nearly 30 missiles at a training ground in Lviv, located less than 24 km from the Polish border, killing 35 people and injuring 134, according to reports. After the attack, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned of a vigorous NATO response if Russian forces attempted an attack on Poland.

Blumenthal called the latest wave of violence “very deeply concerning,” particularly as a sign of the war’s expansion westward toward NATO member nations, such as Poland.

If Putin threatened member countries directly, the United States would have a “moral and legal” obligation to step up its involvement, Blumenthal said.

In a statement, Blumenthal said he would continue to pressure fellow US officials to provide more munitions, aircraft and other deadly aid. He said it was “absolutely urgent” to keep the Ukrainians equipped for the fight.

He also stressed the need for help in the face of the humanitarian crisis, with Polish shelters in need of food, supplies and medical supplies.

Blumenthal asked Connecticutans to continue donating whatever they can, even clothes and blankets being put to good use.

“I’ve seen first hand piles of blankets, of clothes — so I know the ones being collected across Connecticut by the Ukrainian-American community are reaching the refugees who really need all the donations,” Blumenthal said. .

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